About Yaakov

Yaakov Astor, Editor-in-Chief of Zman Magazine, has written, co-written or edited more than 25 published books. His two most recent books are The Secret Life Of Gershon Burd and Nothing Bad Ever Happens, which documents the amazing Holocaust story of his mother-in-law, Rachel Blum.

In 2014, he published The Underground, which documents the incredible and often dangerous work of the organization that sent hundreds of Torah teachers behind the Iron Curtain to educate a thirsting generation of Soviet Jews about their lost heritage.

He is also the author of Rav Avigdor Miller on Emunah and Bitachon, which collects, assembles and organizes in engaging question-and-answer form Rav Miller’s thought-provoking ideas about emunah and bitachon (faith and trust in God), which until now were scattered throughout his shiurim and seforim.

Before that, he authored two volumes of The Hidden Hand: The Hidden Hand — The Holocaust and The Hidden Hand: Uncovering Divine Providence in Major Events of the 20th Century, which explore the possibility of Divine Providence in modern events, including the Holocaust.

He is also author of Soul Searching: Seeking Scientific Foundation for the Jewish Tradition of an Afterlife, which compares millennia-old teachings in Judaism about the Afterlife with modern day scientific research into near-death-experiences (NDE’s) and reincarnation.

He was also editor of Sefer Nehemiah and Trei Asar, Vol. 1, in the ArtScroll Tanach Series.

In addition to his books he has also published hundreds articles over the years in Zman magazine (of which he is editor), Yated Ne’eman, HaModia, Mishpachah Magazine, The Jewish Observer, Aish.com and other publications.

Beyond his writing career, he is a former yeshivah teacher and principal who has also taught in various kiruv (outreach) capacities.

Currently, he serves as the Deputy Director of Zechor Yemos Olam (the Holocaust education branch of Torah Umesorah), helping administer its online course to foremost educators and leading annual tours to Poland. This course is the result of working closely with Rabbi Joseph Elias, zt”l, on producing the Holocaust Curriculum for Torah Umesorah. A scaled-down a version of that curriculum became the book Tragedy & Rebirth.

Another notable writing accomplishment is his work with Rabbi Berel Wein in producing the website jewishhistory.org and an online Jewish History course for the Destiny Foundation.

Send him an email if you like to: editor@zmanmagazine.com

Partial List Of Yaakov’s Writing Accomplishments


Destiny Foundation:

Shalheves: Writer/Editor for Rabbi Ezriel Tauber

Articles: more than 100 published online and in print

Torah Umesorah:

Agudath Israel: Contributing author for volumes:


Bottom Line Design (Marketing Firm):

  • Including materials for KOF-K, Frisch, Dirshu, TAB

Script Writer:

  • “A Taste of Torah” (WEVD)

Website: www.jewishsoulsearching.com

Blog: https://yaakovastor.wordpress.com


One thought on “About Yaakov

    Brent Baer said:
    December 7, 2009 at 5:02 am

    Yaakov, this is terrific!
    You pulled together your work and by making it available to us out here in cyberspace, are making this work a better place. Thanks, my friend.

    I just launched my website-(still needs work)
    open to feedback/comments to improve.

    All our best
    The Baers

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